Should I fight for sole custody?

| Jan 4, 2021 | Divorce |

If you happen to have children with your ex-spouse, it may be the case that having sole custody sounds more appealing to you then sharing custody with him or her. Often, this may be for reasons of convenience as compared to any direct ill will against the ex-spouse. 

However, in most cases it is not worth your while to try and fight for sole custody. According to Custody Exchange, fighting for sole custody could end up backfiring and it is likely to result in strangers making all the decisions regarding your children’s situations post-divorce. 

How could this backfire?

Speaking broadly, courts tend to heavily-favor joint custody because experts commonly tout joint custody as being in the best interest of children. Trying to advocate for sole custody may portray you as somebody who is more selfishly motivated rather than willing to work together with the ex-spouse for the good of the children. 

Typically, the courts only award sole custody in situations where there has been an acute history of violence or substance abuse within the family home. If this does not exist, the court may see your attempt to get sole custody as a sign of unwillingness to parent selflessly. 

What about decision-making?

In a collaborative divorce, the ex-spouses retain all of the control because they are able to negotiate terms with each other. There are legal professionals present to guide the process and help smooth over disagreements, but it is the ex-couple making the decisions. 

Going to trial means that a neutral third party (the judge) will make these decisions for you. Generally, it is better for the parents of the children to make these decisions: they know the children better.